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Settlement Archives

Connecticut Defendants, Lawyers and Insurers Need to Carefully Craft Settlement Offers

A recent decision by the Second Circuit Court of Appeals should give all defendants, their lawyers and insurers pause. In Barbour, et al. v. City of White Plains, et al., the Court upheld an award of over $285,000 in attorneys fees after the defendants tendered a settlement offer of only $30,000 ($10,000 per plaintiff). Many defense attorneys, in making offers to plaintiffs, look to Fed.R.Civ.P. 68 as a shield, couching the tender as an Offer of Judgment. If the plaintiff rejects the offer and wins less (or the same) at trial, the plaintiff must pay the defendant's costs. It gives a plaintiff the potential for a financial loss should they decline and force a trial.

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